There are common sense tips on saving your hard earned money. There are also not so commonsense ways to save money. Either way, here is a list of things that have noticably saved me lots of money. Some may work for you, some may be senseless to you. Either way, they work.
1. Cancel TV subscriptions: DSTV, Netflix, IrokoTV. While this may not make sense for everyone and may not be appropriate for everyone, I noticed that as a single person, I have been able to save so much. Instead of paying for cable, buy a Chromecast and an unlimited internet subscription. Chromecast($35), Internet setup with Wifi.ng(30k), monthly subscription, (9,500). So how does this pay you? This serves multiple purposes- you can use your internet subscription for more things than just video.
I canceled my Netflix subscription because I noticed that the Nigerian Netflix has far fewer movie choices. I’d rather just do a google search for whatever movie I want to watch and then watch.
2. Buy used cars: If you can comfortably afford to buy new cars, then go for it. I am for getting very good used cars that you can sell off in a year to get another used car. Of course, the car has to be well inspected before you purchase it. You should sell it off before there are any issues whatsoever.
3. Withdraw enough cash for the week from the ATM: Did I hear you say cashless society? I am not sure the structures and financial infrastructures give full benefits to you. I would strongly suggest you plan your weekly spending and then withdraw the exact amount for the week. There’s something about pulling out money from the bunch when you are about to pay for something. Suddenly you become a little more hesitant because you can see for yourself how your money depletes. Also, if you have to withdraw extra cash, you know that you have gone above budget. Of course, paying for products and items that are very expensive can be restricted to online transfers and POS exchanges. Impulsive buying is a bitch!
4. Wash your own car: Instead of paying the guy down the road to wash your car, you should find time during the week to wash your own car. It doesn’t only save you money, it allows you me-time. And then maybe you’d find the spare change you left in the car from last week.
5. Use Whatsapp: Hear me out and temporarily forget what Toke Makinwa said. Whatsapp calls will save you a tonne of money for international calls. Everybody(almost everyone except my brother) is on Whatsapp anyway. I noticed that Whatsapp calls are better in quality than any other VOIP service.
6. Cook your own meals: I noticed that I could save up to 400% from cooking my food for the week rather than eating out. A good piece of chicken is N1,000. 1kg of Zartech’s frozen chicken wings with about 12 pieces of wings costs N1,200. So what do you think? An average meal in Chicken Republic will cost you about N1350. Multiply that by 5. That’s 6750. With N6750, you can buy chicken, vegetables, and carbs that would last you one week for three meals a day. Take your meals to work.
7. Get an inverter: 5 years ago, I installed inverters in my house. They still work till date. I have not even changed my batteries. My inverter powers my house(except my refrigerator) for three days without power. In the last 5 years, I have turned on my generator about 30 times since. Set up may seem expensive but the payoff is great!
8. Source for apartment agents online: I am well aware that agents require a certain fee before they can start looking for apartments for you. What I have done in the past was to go to house.jumia.ng, jiji.ng, olx.ng, privateproperty.com.ng and the likes to look for apartments. When I see the apartment I like, I contact the agent, he shows me what I saw and then I pay. This has saved me countless hours following agents to stupid locations while you pay them to search.
9. Buy LED TVs and not Plasma or LCD. LEDs are huge power savers. Other types consume more power. I know power is cheap in Nigeria. But power is not cheap on your generators. Same goes for bulbs. But LED/energy saving bulbs.
10. Don’t buy newspapers: Who even buys them??? You can get your news online anyways. Ah, better still, you can talk to someone to tell you what’s going on in specific interest areas. I watch Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show every day to keep abreast with US news.
11. Use Kudi.ai for online transfers and bill payment. Kudi.ai is a payment bot available on Facebook messenger, Skype and in a browser. It’s totally free. Transaction charges are free too. It’s super super amazing. Hey, thank me later. Seriously.
12. Plan hangouts effectively: Before going out on hangouts, I budget my spending and I let everyone know immediately we are hanging out. This prevents excess spending right from the beginning.
13. Sell used items on Jiji.ng, Olx etc. Truth is we all have those nice things we will never use. If you won’t gift them, just *in Jiji ad voice* sell it!
14: Leave Instagram alone! YOU NEED TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH INSTAGRAM EATS IN ON YOUR DATA! Find out! But you know you don’t have to be on Instagram much longer
15. Hitch a ride: I hate driving but I’d rather drive myself to work and back. But I realized it would have saved me a lot of money hitching a ride. As a car owner who would rather control where he goes etc, plan the days you can save on fuel by hitching a ride. Not every time drive.
16. Keep track of your costs: That tip itself is a money saver. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. When I first started monitoring my spending I was so shocked that transportation was more expensive than self-care. I realized that I could cut down on my transportation and afford to buy a nice perfume every month.
17. Buy quality not quantity: I have about 30 pairs of shoes. However I wear just about 5 of them and those 5, I have worn for 2 or 3 years with hardly any wear(wear as in wear and tear). The other shoes were gifts and shoes I can’t wear for just any occasion. Think quality instead of quantity when you go shopping.
18. Write a shopping list: I often fail on this. But what I realize is I go into a store just to buy glue, I come out with two carts, a horse and the barn owner.
19. Insure your belongings: In particular your car. It’s interesting that a lot of Nigerians who do 3rd party insurances don’t know they can claim money/repairs if they hit someone else’s car. I once ran into someone else’s gate and pay for it. I didn’t’ know I could have claimed insurance on that. You hit someone’s car and then the two of you are shouting on the street! All that is unnecessary! Just contact your insurance company, exchange numbers and forget about it. Do a comprehensive insurance…especially if you live in Lekki(lol).
You hit someone’s car and then the two of you are shouting on the street! All that is unnecessary! Just contact your insurance company, exchange numbers and forget about it. Do a comprehensive insurance…especially if you live in Lekki(lol).
20. Do your weekly, daily and monthly budgets: This saves you from overspending. Your being deliberate with expenses keeps you in check. I will expand on this in a future episode
21. Forget savings, invest in mutual fund: Saving from your income is good. Making your savings work for you is a further step in wealth creation. A few years ago, I started saving 20% of my income with a mutual fund(Old Mutual). The benefits include up to 18% returns and life insurance. I set a standing order on my account to debit as soon as my salary came in
22. Fuel your car in the morning not afternoon: Oh, it’s chemistry! If you’re getting your fuel tank filled up, it is desirable to do it in the morning or even at night, rather than do it in the afternoon or during the day, say experts. They say petroleum products expand when they are warm, so due to the expansion you end up with a lesser percentage of fuel for the money you’ve paid if you’re filling up in the afternoon or during the day.
In the mornings, however, when the temperature is cooler, fuel is denser, irrespective of whether it’s in liquid form or gas, say experts.
23. Go to work/meetings earlier: When I worked on the Island and lived in the Lagos Mainland, I would leave super early to beat traffic. My commute to and from work was about 45minutes while rush hour would have taken me 3 hours. Of course, you would notice the difference in your wallet.
24. Work out more, drink a lot of water: This will probably save you some hospital bills. Health, they say is wealth.
25. Travel: Use Kayak.com(and/or it’s app) to get ticket comparisons. You can also set notifications for cheaper tickets. I am a super subscriber to Airbnb. Why get an hotel room when you can meet new people.